7Snogs: Theme 7/7: Milk
A/N: I actually kind of like this one. My first instinct for this one was to let myself be inspired by the song "Milk" by Garbage (for obvious reasons) but that song is really kind of sad and would have led me down a rather angsty road and I didn't really want to do that for Speedy and Rae, especially on their last snog.
Yes...that does mean this series of one-shots, very loosely connected (if one was so inclined to view them that way) has come to an end.
I hope you all enjoyed the ride.
"And how can I stand here with you / and not be moved by you/ Would you tell me / how could it be / any better than this?"
- Everything, Lifehouse
'Milk,' he thought. 'It's milk.'
Speedy blinked a few times at the chalky white liquid in the inconspicuous clear plastic container sitting in the middle of his refrigerator. Even after identifying what was in the nondescript plastic container sitting on the top shelf of his fridge, he still couldn't think what it was doing there or how it had gotten there in the first place.
None of his teammates were milk drinkers, and he certainly wasn't even the milk and cookies kind of guy. Hell, he even took his coffee black (two sugars). So what was it doing in their--?
Even just thinking the name caused his face to break out in a smile. Not just his lips, his entire face. It had only been just recently that he'd figured out she could make him want to smile just by walking in the room, the fact that just the thought of her could do it just as surely was new, but not surprising. Not when he thought about it.
Raven liked milk in her tea in the morning and some nights, when she took the tea to help her sleep after a grueling fight. He knew that. Hell, he knew that even before they embarked on their relationship months ago. The question he suddenly needed to figure out, however, was since when did he start keeping things in his Tower in anticipation of her visits?
He stared at the milk as if it might provide the answer, but of course, it didn't.
Still, he thought of the little ways in which his life had changed since he and Raven had, as they would say in the old days, 'accepted his suit'. It hadn't been strange for him to find a set of her pajamas in his laundry that one time and he had never even considered returning them to her after he washed them, but since when had she known that the top drawer of the side bureau was where he'd put all the little odds and ends she'd left in his room throughout the months? When he had bought her a toothbrush because she always forgot to pack one in her overnight bag whenever she came over, it had seemed logical and not at all strange, but since when had he become accustomed to seeing the purple and black toothbrush in the same cup where he kept his every morning and night?
Sure, he knew she had things in her room at Towers West that were his (he was pretty sure his favorite Steel City Ironmen(1) T-shirt had to be at her place because he hadn't seen it since he wore it to the local baseball game in Jump that one time) and if it were just about finding small traces of her in his space that were the issue, he probably wouldn't have been so surprised. But it wasn't. Not really. The real problem, the real question, of course, was since when had he become so accepting of a female becoming so thoroughly entwined in his life?
The answer came to him as if it should've been obvious and he chuckled to himself because he knew that it had been obvious, but it had just taken his brain a little bit to catch up to the rest of him.
He was so comfortable with her being in his space, he was so ready to accept her presence all around him, and he was so comfortable with the traces of her everywhere he looked because he loved her. Because he loved her and he knew he couldn't have her with him every day, not yet, and so every bit of her that remained where he could see it, touch it, feel it everyday especially when she wasn't around, served as a reminder that she would be back and that she was entwined in his life.
The miscommunication between brain and heart had happened when his brain was used to any girl becoming so involved with him as being a bad thing while his heart...well...his heart rather thought of it as a necessity.
Well, how could he possibly find fault with that?
Grinning, he stopped trying to and reached for the milk.
As strange as it was to find Speedy all rumpled and slept in, hair mussed and clothes anything less than impeccable, it was stranger still to find him fiddling around in the kitchen. It had not failed to escape her notice that this was the kind of guy for whom 'take-out' and 'delivery' was invented. The kind of guy who would starve if his nourishment relied on him boiling water.
Not that she was one to talk, really. No one had let her live down her pancake making debacle as of yet and she had a sinking feeling they never would. But she could usually make coffee. She had yet to remember his adamant assertion that they should order out for coffee and tea the first time she spent the night at his place without at least chuckling.
So, it was understandable that when she came into the kitchen and found Speedy in such a state (both rumpled and in the process of setting out the coffee maker and the pot for her tea) the fact that there was a quart of milk sitting innocuously on the counter was not the first thing she noticed as odd and out of place.
The first twinge of recognition at the existence of some emotion previously unexplored and deep seated in her unconscious should have perhaps warned her that something was stirring, about to wake up and look at her right in the eye in that annoying blunt way her emotions had taken to using of late. But she was too otherwise preoccupied by the realization that there was an actual, honest to goodness, quart of fresh milk sitting on the counter.
Since when had the Titans East had fresh milk in the fridge?
She still remembered the late night trip to the all night supermarket because she had mentioned she liked milk in her tea. That had been quite an adventure. She smiled at the memory of his insistence despite her assurance she didn't need it right that moment. He had known without her telling him that she took some form of comfort in the ritual of adding milk to her tea when she couldn't sleep. And occasionally in the morning, usually when it was dark and dreary and cold such as the current day.
But that quart of milk couldn't possibly be the same one. For one thing, the seal was unopened and for another, the one she bought the last time she slept over would have spoiled by now and she could read a fresh date on the one on the counter.
It made absolutely no sense...
Speedy finally noticed her standing where she was, a foot away from the counter, because he walked up to her, smiling in that annoyingly handsome way he had. "G'morning," he greeted, tasting her lips in a quick, casual kiss.
Raven responded rather automatically to the kiss until he gave her lips a quick lick as he pulled away which always made her react. She pulled him back down to her and deepened the kiss for a moment, and he laughed as he pulled away to go back to his dealings in the kitchen. "I'll take that as a good morning," he teased, pouring himself a cup of coffee while the water in the kettle started to boil.
Raven sat at the counter and looked up at him, now that the contact between them was broken, able to go back to her musings about the presence of the quart of milk.
Unless he had started buying milk and keeping it here for her for the unpredictable times when they would end up at his place rather than hers, she wondered. It was possible, she figured, the way he had taken to keeping a spare toothbrush for her in his bathroom and a towel for her in the top drawer of his bureau along with any stray pajamas or other items she might have forgotten to take with her when she left.
And she knew she had taken to keeping some of his clothes in her room in Jump City (and although she would never tell anyone had taken quite a liking to sleeping in his favorite Steel City Ironmen jersey which he had left at her place weeks before) the clothes and the toothbrushes and the little things were all casual, logical things to have around. She knew that, had recognized that even as she separated one of her towels and put it away for his use whenever he came to visit and especially when she found his things in her laundry basket.
But having milk in the fridge just on the off chance she might show up during one of her rare moments of free time? That suggested something but she wasn't quite certain she knew what it was.
It wasn't until she realized that the mug he had set out for her was a mug that no one else in the East Tower used except for her, a mug that everyone referred to as 'Raven's mug' that she realized that somehow, for some reason, without even realizing it or meaning to, she had become as entwined in Speedy's life as he had become in hers. And just like that, before she could even question whether or not that was a good thing, the feeling of belonging broke over her nearly stealing her breath. Had Speedy not turned to attend to the screaming kettle he might not have missed the look of complete and utter shock that flitted across her face for all of six seconds. (It was gone by the time he turned around with the kettle in hand, ready to pour into her mug.)
But what shocked her the most, what nearly made her fall out of the stool, was the realization that he had let her. She might have been caught unaware as to the effect letting someone into so much of her life would bring about, but Speedy wasn't. Speedy hadn't spent the greater part of his life experiencing and learning about emotions through second-hand means. Speedy knew.
And he still let her. He still cultivated it by buying her a toothbrush and mugs and...
"Earth to Raven," Speedy's voice interrupted her thoughts. She looked up at him and was sure for a moment, it must have looked as if she was trying to figure out who the hell he was and why he was calling out her name. The sense of astonishment was not abated, of course, when Raven realized that Speedy had not only set out her tea, but also a couple slices of white bread, lightly toasted. "Come in, beautiful," he teased. Raven blinked up at him so he took a sip of his coffee and cocked his head to the side, smiling, "Are you still asleep?"
She shook her head, but not like she was answering his question, more like she was trying to clear her head. His expression grew serious and he leaned toward her, trying to read her expression.
"Is something wrong?" he frowned, "Did something happen?"
She met his eyes and nodded, slowly. "I..." she spoke, the words coming to her but sticking in her throat for a moment from their newness, "I think I actually love you."
Speedy's face broke into such a grin that for a moment, she wondered whether he thought she was teasing him or trying to make a joke. He must have seen the worry on her face, however, because he sobered almost immediately and took another casual sip of his coffee in an effort to not do anything that would scare her away. Finally, moments later, when he smiled at her again, it was soft and sincere and in complete contrast to the bored conceit of his tone, as he spoke.
(1) Completely made up. I need a team name cause I thought he'd be the type to wear an opposing team jersey.
(2) Anyone recognize this reference? It's not exactly quoted, but any true fans will recognize it.
End A/N: Y'all come back now, y'here?